How Maguire’s Absence Led to Back-to-Back Losses For Man United

Manchester United's Harry Maguire.

REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Man United’s horrid week of packed fixtures came to an end in a predictable fashion with the Red Devils being held to a 2-4 loss at Old Trafford to Liverpool, the first time that the Merseyside Reds have succeeded in doing so since 2014.

Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring in excellent fashion for the home side but was unable to keep the momentum up in the face of goals from Diogo Jota and a brace from Roberto Firmino. Marcus Rashford’s strike did hope to initiate some sort of a comeback but Mo Salah’s late winner cemented all three points for the Reds.

This game was testament to proving just how dependant United are on Harry Maguire to cement their backline.

Often critiqued, the English centre-back is instrumental in the side being a defensive force to reckon with and it is in his unprecedented absence from Premier League football that this has become most evident.

Thus, the back-to-back losses to Leicester City and Liverpool illustrate the same quite well and the fact that Solskjær’s men conceded a whopping 6 goals between the two fixtures is quite telling.

The make-shift options at the back did not provide the firm reliability of the former Leicester City player and it was evident that even his ball-carrying ability and threat from corners were sorely missed.

Games against Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers complete this cycle of League fixtures for United. Given that they have already secured their Champions League qualification, it is likely that the Norwegian gaffer will rest his players and focus all resources for the Europa League final against Villarreal.

However, this absence of Maguire does beg the question as to whether or not the club ought to invest in a reliable centre-back come summer.